Friday, March 12, 2010

Another Favorite Book: Home Comforts: the Art and Science of Keeping House

Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House
Years ago, Mom and I were house guests in a home that I've always admired: clean and beautiful, warm and welcoming, delicious meals served on time at a beautifully set table, etc. etc.  While we were there, I spotted a fat volume sitting on a side table, and the title immediately caught my eye: Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House.  I surreptitiously paged through the book a couple of times and was fascinated. 

Fast forward a couple of years, when I was setting up a home of my own; imagine my delight to find that the lady of the afore-mentioned house had given me this book as a gift. :)  

My sister borrowed the book from me so many times, that I finally got her another copy as a thank-you gift for helping me out when Noah was born.  I think she'll also attest to the book's usefulness.

Home Comforts has become my go-to reference book for everything related to housekeeping.  The initial chapter or two draw me in, every time, with a warm-and-fuzzy narrative about how the author (a busy lawyer) became interested in housekeeping, and why it is important; the the remainder of the seventy-two chapters (I told you it was a fat volume) get down to the nitty-gritty details of keeping house, everything from meals and laundry to safety issues and legal concerns.  Some of my favorite chapters are the ones about preparing and serving meals; the one entitled "Fabrics that Work," which is all about different types of fibers and their advantages and disadvantages for various applications; and the chapter about bedding.  And I'm morbidly fascinated by the chapter about dust mites (when I need motivation to vacuum and dust and change the beds, I read this one).

I use this book both for quick reference as needed, and also for inspiration; if I'm feeling particularly domestic, or on the other hand am NOT feeling domestic and need to be reminded about the importance of what I do, I'll sit down and read straight through a couple of chapters for the umpteenth time.

Looks like the price of Home Comforts has come down a bit in the few years since I've bought a copy.  It's worth the money, in my opinion. :)  If you've read it, or if you read it in the future, comment to let me know what you think. :)

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